Character Development in the Short Film

Character Development in the Short Film

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Writing a short film is an incredibly challenging feat for any creative professional. The stakes are so high because the audience only has minutes to quickly engage with your character on screen and become invested enough in this part of the protagonist’s journey to be impacted by the film. Many short filmmakers get caught up with the notion of making a story about something versus a story of someone. This live tutorial will reinforce the importance of considering your audience’s emotional needs and demands as your number one priority in creating content, and how to start by creating a character they will care about.

Kathy Berardi has written dozens of short-form pieces of content – for creative works, entertainment, education and brands’ marketing – and has mastered the art of telling a compelling story by creating unforgettable and emotionally engaging characters. She will provide you as a new or experienced writer working on a short film with easy tactics to get to the emotional roots of your hero’s story. She will then provide guidance on how to build the story itself around who the character is and why the audience should care at this moment in the character’s life. Her knowledge and experience with these tactics have been inspired and cultivated by her own education with Hollywood’s blockbuster writers who served as her professors in the graduate screenwriting program at UCLA.


  • How to hack the winning short film formula by cracking open your character as step one
  • A checklist of character elements to bring your story’s hero to life
  • How to interweave your character’s back story into the present story being told on screen in a short film
  • How to create supporting characters to best complement the protagonist and drive the story forward
  • The best way to brainstorm ideas for an antagonist or opposing force to make the short film exciting to watch
  • How to leverage the character relationships within the micro-universe of a short film as the sources of conflict
  • What to do if you realize your main character isn’t interesting enough to drive the story through to completion


  • Writers who want to start screenwriting and see their work produced by making a short film
  • Writers who are concerned about how to develop a deep enough character for such a short piece of content as a short film
  • Writers who need tools to help them quickly develop a character to get a story started
  • Writers who are inspired by an actual character or type of character and need resources to build a storyline around that person
  • Writers who want to learn how to create compelling characters for any kind of content – be it features, TV or webisodes
  • Writers wish to build their talent at creating character-driven stories that intrigue actors and producers to working with them
  • Writers who aspire to work with A-list actors and need Oscar-caliber characters driving their stories to do so

The Writers Store does not offer any refunds for the webinar. All sales are final.